Yoga is not just a form of exercise as people know it but it is much more than that. Yoga can not only make your body and mind fit but can also help you progress spiritually. In fact, you can achieve salvation i.e. freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth through Yoga. Generally by the term Yoga, people mean the asanas only. Actually, these asanas are called as Yogasana. In fact, the word Yoga comprises of Yoga, meditation, Pranayama, Yama, and Niyama collectively.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is the union of spirit, mind, and body. The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “yeung”, which means to join. A yoke as used on oxen is closely related, but also the same root gives us “join”, “junction”, “junta”, “adjust”, “joust”, and “juxapose” to name a few.
Yoga exercises consists of a set of exercises (Asanas) which put main emphasis on stretching and strengthening.
History of Yoga:
It is believed that history of yoga dates back to 2500 B.C. i.e. nearly 5000 years. Actually, it seems that Yoga existed before that also. About 5000 years ago, Yogi Patanjali documented it in a systematic manner. During excavation of Indus Valley Civilization sites, several seals had been found depicting figures resembling to Yoga and meditation asanas. You would find many Hindu deities such as Shiva, Kartikeya, etc. depicted as in deep meditation. Buddha is always shown in sculptures and images as doing meditation.
Types of Yoga:
Hatha Yoga: This is the most popular variety of yoga and one that has been commonly taught for years. So what is yoga for them? For them it is perfecting the mind by way of perfecting the body.
With this technique, many asanas or postures, breathing techniques and meditations are used.
Ashtanga Yoga: This yoga is another popular type. They are much faster than the other schools. For them yoga can be considered as a type of aerobic yoga for they instill quick and smooth transitions between poses.
Kundalini Yoga: This school is focused on awakening and focusing what is known as Kundalini energy. Kundalini energy is most easily compared to life energy that lies dormant in our body. It is commonly represented by a coiled snake.
Mantra Yoga: This type of yoga is focused on calming the mind and body through the usage of words and sounds. The well known ‘Om’ chant is commonly heard in this school.
Tantra Yoga: This type of school is well known by way of its focus on sexual spirituality.
They also focus on Kundalini energy, although their intent for awakening it is much different from the Kundalini practice.
Bikram Yoga: These types of yoga are also known as the “hot yoga” for this is done in a very warm room. These types of yoga are excellent tools for increasing flexibility because the heat helps tissue to stretch.
Christian Yoga: Christian yoga is a spiritual practice of Christians most common in Eastern and Western Countries.
Naked Yoga: This type of yoga is done without clothes as some people are not comfortable with clothes while doing Yoga.
Power Yoga: Power Yoga is a western version of Hindu yoga. It emphasizes on movements rather than on stretching.
Benefits of Yoga:
The reason why most people do yoga is that it makes them feel better and in shape. The different poses and postures make their body healthy. Yoga for most is the best way to relax and unwind. If you want to keep your body in shape, this might be the best exercise for you.
Yoga is extremely beneficial in many diseases. Doctors all over the world prescribe Yoga as a remedial assistance in many diseases. There had been researches which proved that yoga helps you to control anxiety, reduces asthma, depression, arthritis, blood pressure, back pain, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, epilepsy, diabetes, headaches, stress and many more.
Yoga has a lot of benefits and advantages. All in a day’s work, it can reduce tension and stress. If you do yoga, your self esteem will be higher. It is important to gain more confidence inside and out so that you can face people with no worries.
Yoga is good for the body in increasing your muscle tone, strength, stamina and flexibility. If you are too fat and conscious about your body figure, yoga can help you lower your fat and keep your body in shape. Yoga exercises can burn excess fat and give you the desired figure that you want.
If you need time to relax and forget your responsibilities, yoga will be good to improve your concentration and enhance your creativity. Yoga helps you to think more positively away from all anxieties. If you have a fresh mind, you can think of good things and apply it easily.
Your body needs to relax once in a while. Sometimes, work can leave us wasted and exhausted. During the heavy days, we may not find time to unwind because work is still on our tail. Yoga can help you create a sense of calmness and well being.
Yoga exercise helps you improve a good circulation. Your organs and veins need to be exercised for it to function properly. Yoga can help stimulate your immune system and keep you away from diseases. If you have a good immune system, you can be sure that you are free from sickness.
Some people do yoga to be enlightened. They believe that yoga will help them bring up their spirit and keep them relieved. Yoga works differently for people be it spiritual, emotional, psychological, mental and physical.
People think that yoga is only for spiritual people but that belief is wrong. Even if you are not that religious, you can do yoga. You will see and feel the difference at the same time find out how it works for you.